“Vijay’s drive to reach NASA heights”

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Vijay Persaud’s journey had many ups and downs, but each step helped to propel him to the heights of NASA.

As he shared his story with EASY, his voice broke with emotion as he recalled the struggle of his walk, especially his mother Basmat Persaud’s strength, determination and sacrifices to create a better life for her three children.

The 43 years-old was on a recent visit – accompanied by his wife Geeta and 12-year-old son Navin – to the island he has “developed a bond” with.

Along with his parents and two sisters, Debbie and Susan, Persaud moved to Barbados from Guyana at seven on his father Rajh Paul Persaud’s work permit. His father had been contracted to help build the General Post Office in Bridgetown.

Persaud enjoyed a fairly normal life, walking the halls of Hilltop Preparatory and St James Secondary Schools until tragedy struck at age 12.

His dad died and the family could no longer remain in Barbados. They were deported to Guyana – homeless at times, with no income, few relatives and all their possessions left behind in Barbados.

“When we went back to Guyana we found it very difficult . . . . So my mother decided she wanted to come back to Barbados and give us a better life,” he said.

“She actually did an arranged marriage and became a permanent resident. She got us back here legally.”

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Vijay Persaud enjoying some family time with his wife Geeta and son Navin. (Picture by Reco Moore.)

After the family settled in Black Rock, St Michael, Persaud said, his mother bought over a small store – Emma’s Variety – not far away in Eagle Hall, where she sold rotis to schoolchildren to support her family.

Although lamenting what he described as the limited choices to “stimulate the mind” in Barbados’ schools, Persaud said his career path in electronics was ignited at St James. (RT)

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